Today's guest is Hayin Kimner. Hayin is a practitioner, a researcher and a policy advocate with a focus on the whole child, community school systems and partnerships that support the healthy development and youth in their communities. And she currently serves as the managing director for the California Community Schools Learning Exchange. Hayin has led the development of district and city wide community school partnership strategies in San Francisco Unified, and Emery Unified School Districts. While at the John W. Gardner Center at Stanford University, she co facilitated the evaluation of multiple community and school based project initiatives with an emphasis on collaborative theory base qualitative research methods that engage community partners in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco counties. She contributes to school improvement research as a Senior Policy and Research Fellow for the policy analysis for California Education and she is actively connected to community schools, initiatives and practitioners across the country.
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Hello and welcome to the learning leader lab brought to you by San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and I'm your host, David Culverhouse. If you are looking for conversations around innovative change leadership for our complex and exponentially changing times in education, then you have definitely come to the right place. We want to welcome you to this episode as we talk with leaders inside and outside of our county, and the important work that they're doing. And so with that, let's get started. Well, hello, and welcome to another episode of the learning leader lab. And today's guest is Hayin Kimner, super excited about talking with her today. Hayin is a practitioner, a researcher and a policy advocate with a focus on the whole child, community school systems and partnerships that support the healthy development and youth in their communities. And she currently serves as the managing director for the California Community Schools Learning Exchange. Hayin has led the development of district and city wide community school partnership strategies in San Francisco Unified, and Emery Unified School Districts. While at the John W. Gardner Center at Stanford University, she co facilitated the evaluation of multiple community and school based project initiatives with an emphasis on collaborative theory base qualitative research methods that engage community partners in San Mateo, Santa Clara and San Francisco counties. She contributes to school improvement research as a Senior Policy and Research Fellow for the policy analysis for California Education and she is actively connected to community schools, initiatives and practitioners across the country. And that's a lot. And I've read a lot of your stuff, I've got to see you speak a couple of times. And so not only is that incredible, bio, it's just super fun to be sitting here today and being able to listen to you. To start off today, just talk to us a little bit about the community schools work. So people have a chance to understand it, both from a national and California perspective, because we both know here in California, it's huge, is quite the initiative. And so it allows us to just understand a little bit about this strategy and initiative for educational transformation.
Sure, I'm so glad to be here. Really excited to dive into a conversation. As you could probably tell from my bio, I nerd out about community schools and have been doing this work for a long time. So I'm really excited for this moment in California and nationally. When we talk about community school and community school strategies, this isn't new and this is not something that was seeded by a federal or a state grant, it really is about the concept of being student centered and recognizing that conditions for learning need to be attended to for really thinking about all that it takes so that young people are thriving, and flourishing within within their school communities and their communities. Fundamentally, this is really about recognizing the centrality of schools, both geographically for for many communities, but also conceptually and how we think about what it takes to be successful. As an adult, we've sort of had a lot of, we've put a lot of stock into the idea of education, and specifically around public education as being sort of this great equalizer in terms of our meritocracy and also in terms of our democracy. With that it is also recognizing that there has long existed, a very persistent and problematic opportunity gap and achievement gap, and a community school strategy and its, its various iteration and evolution for I would say, you know, certainly the last 100 - 150 years has always been a little bit of a response to that. So what does it take in order to really address these opportunity gaps and then these outcomes gaps? I will also say that it's more recently, a reflection of the science and I don't just mean science from thinking about the hard sciences, but all of the things that the literature and research have told us, or we've learned from the neurobiology of learning, the neurophysiology of learning, all the way to really thinking about change management and the way that organizations and institutions evolve and change. And so implications for leadership. So all of these pieces have have fed into the way that we think about community schools. I will say that in California, you're right, we do like to do really big initiatives, we like to say that we're going to do things at scale, after all, you know, being ostensibly a global economic powerhouse, just within our state, there's very little that we do statewide, that can't be considered something at pretty massive scale. But that also makes it really, really challenging to really get to the nuts and bolts, and really the underlying concepts and assumptions that is required, in order for an effort, like community school work to be successful. And I think that this moment in time, with currently $4 billion allocated within the public dollars to support community schools work, there's sometimes a lot of confusion that community schools is about a particular grant program, that it is not, and that community schools is just something that is for Title One schools, or for poor communities, or just about services and resources. And the way that that our organization, The Community Schools Learning Exchange, and our partners across the country, have really tried to make sure that when we're talking about community schools, it is about a strategy. And it's a strategy for organizing the resources and voices of the community around student success.
So let me ask you a question. Just I'm gonna go off topic a little bit. And, which is always fun anyways, because this is going to be a fun conversation, because there's a lot to unpack there. Why I mean, there really is, and and I think, even seeing it here in California, and being involved in the work, is there's a real struggle to say, just show me the model, show me what I need to recreate. Because there's a certain level for me, I've learned of leaning into a some uncertainty in this, because it's, there's not like, necessarily, you know, if I'm co creating, and I'm building this around shared power, and, and really bringing in my community and co creating this process. There's a whole lot of uncertainty in that on what that's gonna look like. Is that been a bit of a struggle? I know, I have my questions here. But I kind of, you know, I think that's an important thing, because I think, you know, especially coming out of a time of real uncertainty, this is, in some ways, a bit of a reflection of what COVID, you know, wouldn't say unearthed, but uncovered in and then but there's also a lot of uncertainty on how this really looks.
Yeah. Yeah, I think ultimately, there's, there's so many ironies, and when we're talking about school improvement, and community schools, and oftentimes when people say, Oh, but just tell me tell me what to do, or rather, show me the best version of it, because we're going to do it better. I like to pause folks, and ask them some questions that need to be thought about not just in terms of an individual or an individual leader, but as a community. So questions like What do you care about? And why? What is the specific problem or set of problems you're trying to solve? Who thinks that's a problem? Who doesn't? Why? In order to address that problem, who do you need? And why? Who needs you? And why? Right, if we don't have the answers to that level of inquiry, I can't give you a template. I can't tell you to look at some deep dive case profile and say, Go do it within your context. And then the work that we do with districts and counties I'm not the expert in that district. I'm not that expert in that community. I don't attend those school board meetings. I don't understand why a superintendent has come or left. I don't know what is happening within that school. So when we look for these silver bullet answers that, in many ways take, and ironically take learning out of the picture that takes sort of the humanity and the relationships that it requires to actually do learning out of the picture, and make it seem like it's some sort of input mix, outcomes data, we're really doing a disservice to our profession, and to these goals in which we're trying to actually make significant and measurable progress. And that piece, I think, is, is really tough, because on the one hand, there is an extraordinary urgency of now. Right. And on the other hand, if we just continue to try to do a very slightly thing with the only thing that we know what to pay attention to, we're not really doing anything differently. So we know that in order to learn, we have to start with some inquiry. And I'm not entirely sure that there is that level of focus on the inquiry, that there needs to be in order to actually provide that strong foundation for actually moving towards developing a shared understanding that doesn't just get to buy in, that doesn't just get into leverage, and blend and braid. But that actually gets to thinking about ownership, interdependence, shared accountability. And some understanding that what sustainability means is that it needs to be student centered, not just sustainability, of adult centered positions, or ways of going about doing the work. That's really tough for us in education.
I'm not sure if we're gonna get to the questions, I think we're just gonna keep unpacking here. One of the one of the things you make me think about is, I think one of the hardest things. You know, I know, things come up around one of the values of shared power that can be really difficult in the co creation. But I think we really struggle in some ways around listening, like deep listening, because I feel, and I know, I'm just kind of throwing me in there. But it sometimes feels as if we listen to feel like you've been heard. But this is the plan. Instead of listening to co create something that's different. I know, we've had to do some really deep listening, and it made us pivot around some of the work that that we're doing, because if we're not listening, and then you utilizing what we're learning from that listening, and having that deep empathy to pivot, then it really doesn't help because we're just unfurling a plan that we wanted to have. And I don't know, you know, if, if you see that, and then and then the other thing I wanted to build on is that I think it's also like you said, in this time, you know, when you think about the exponential changes that are happening, you know, AI was already coming, and it was already with automation affecting the future of work. But with generative AI, it kind of woke everyone up a little bit. And, and it is changing work. And and what that future will be becomes a little more non obvious for students. As you approach this work, do those conversations happen along with, you know, the listening, but I mean, also that deep understanding of that these shifts are things we haven't seen before, and we don't know where it's gonna go. And so it gets people really like, well, I don't want to go too far. Because, you know, I don't know where it's going. So I'm thoughts on that a little bit. I don't know if, if I explained that well.
I mean, I think there's there's two different unrelated ways of thinking about this one is, is just in terms of what are our drivers in education, what actually inspires us to improve? And not only what inspires us to improve but what what are the things that we sort of have in place that are assumed to propel us to be responsive to our communities, to our students, to our districts, to our teachers, to our educators, but then also keep the goal in mind or Around progress, right? We need data, we need to be able to demonstrate that we are actually doing something, because that's what we are publicly funded to do. But when you think about our system, and a system is really the things that we create, to hopefully get us to what we're trying to do, our system is kind of confusing when we talk about what it what it means to actually achieve something as an organization, right? When we talk about sort of the enabling conditions. To support strong and sustainable community schools, we talked about shared vision, we talked about trusting relationships with actionable data, we talk about inclusive decision making. But then you also look at what are the main drivers that are kind of true across most of California, we have elected school boards, and electoral cycles, we've got a state superintendent of public instruction that is also elected, we have a state board of education, we have these county offices of education, we have these LEA's and these funding formulas that, you know, a good percentage of I would even say the legislature doesn't understand how have we baked in any of these drivers for school improvement and success within the current system. And I think it's really difficult we have seen, not just in education, but across the political spectrum, across lots of different political theaters, that it's, you know, improvement is not really a campaign platform that wins. The campaign platform that wins is about attacking the other side. And that's not going to get us anywhere towards relationship centered schools, it's not going to get us towards shared vision, it's certainly not going to get us to trusting relationships. And we're not going to be able to use actionable data in a way to understand what progress means. And we sure as hell are not going to be able to really think about what does inclusive decision making mean? Is that inclusive decision making within the people that agree with me? And that we can actually just, you know, move things forward? Because we all agree, or are we creating some spaces and processes and resourcing those spaces and processes to be inclusive in that way? So when we talk about relationships, centered schools, and this is, you know, the our colleagues and friends at Californians for justice also talk about relationship centered schools, you know, we can't get away from the fact that learning is actually a relational meaning making activity.
Irrespective of where AI is, irrespective of, you know, all of this is dependent on the human being, actually creating some meaning, and within community with others. And if we're not going to really re examine what those current sets of assumptions are around improvement, and around who we're in relationship with, and who's in control and who's not and who gets to dominate and who doesn't. I don't think we're being very honest about where we're trying to go. And we see this across the state. I think one of the things that I'm most worried about right now, because it is quite antithetical to community schools work is that we have $4 billion in Community School Grant funds, and community based organizations are struggling to be a part of that conversation. Well, can we do some stepping back as a system, right, all the way from the Department of Education to the state board, to the county offices, to the school districts, to the school sites, to examine why that's happening. And if we're not doing that sort of examination, then I think that they were, you know, we are definitely not working towards a community school strategy. We have a grant fund that has a lot of dimensions that speak to a community school strategy. But in implementation, we're not being relationship centered, we are not being inquiry minded, we are not creating the conditions for our system to work in this way.
What I really appreciate about that is that we often talk about especially in leadership, having self awareness, and this is really talking about systems awareness, and having that understanding why and empathy kind of flows into that or, or just even human centered design, thinking of being able Well, to really be honest of where you're at with your system, and why those things are, are or are not happening. So let me I'm gonna get into one of the questions, we'll see if it even works right now. But um, but first of all, and I'm really appreciating all that you have to say, because this is some of the deep thinking. And why I appreciate you being on the podcast today is that we really need to think about these things, because it does, in some ways, feel solid but scattered. If that is maybe a good term, because it feels like in some ways, there's some solidity going on. But there's still a lot of like, scattered newness and, and anxiety and, and like you said, just show me, and I'll either replicate it, or I'll try and outdo it. And and it goes back to something that you had mentioned is that sometimes that is very, you know, you could even use Simon Sinek stuff of that that's a finite game. It's about winning, instead of improving. Mm hmm. You know, and there's a people don't always recognize that winning and improving aren't necessarily the same thing. And often, that is an adult centered approach to. Alright, let me throw a question out there. So in your article, stages of development, transforming schools into community schools, it was shared community schools, and education reform strategy have been described as another way of thinking in acting and a new way of doing school. This type of school transformation is complex, and involves change that can be uncomfortable, and doesn't happen overnight, which we've kind of been talking about here. Talk to me a little bit about the thinking and acting and doing described here because it is complex, uncomfortable and difficult.
Yeah, and in a in in a place, like California, where I think there are a lot of different initiatives the noise in the chaos is not always bad, right? Sometimes I call it high quality, fragmentation. Even if we're doing an awesome job, at all of these separate initiatives, they are separate. And even though we can all use the same tracking points and say this is for young people are those furthest those closest to their community, or those closest to the problem should be engaged. We're all doing that pretty separately. And that is a problem. And I think that this does get to what I was saying before, like, how are we examining these drivers? And how are we actually building in interdependence? One of the things that, I think was sometimes we we'd like to use phrases because they sound nice and clean. Community Schools sounds nice and clean. breeding and blending funding sounds nice and clean, makes logical sense. But what does it actually mean? And who really, who needs to take on the responsibility to do that, and just one size fits all for one we're talking about the way that LA County might be breeding and blending funds, from behavioral health to wellness to workforce development, to our partners in Tuolumne county where the inputs might look drastically different than they do in a larger urban area. I think that when when we are talking about the community schools work, and sort of the new way of doing school, we also have to recognize and be honest with the things that are really hard for us. And one of the things that it's really hard for us is to lose control or not have control over, oh, I don't know everything, certainly from a dollars perspective, but also to know who is hiring whom. And what does that mean for everything from supervision to accountability? Right. And I think that those end up kind of it's a slippery slope into very adult centered ways of making decisions, and that it isn't actually about really thinking through what does it mean for all of us to be working together. A concrete example of that is you know, the the money that is underlying the California Community Schools Partnership Program grant funding the $4 billion which is an extraordinary amount money. I believe the congressional asked for the Federal full service community schools grant initially was $450 million, 4 billion is still eight times that. And that 450 million from the federal level went down to I think, like 100, 100, maybe 75 or 100 million. So just thinking about that, in terms of scale. That money is prop 98 money. That money is not Esser money, it's not federal money. And with Prop 98, money, there comes some restrictions and, and constraints around how that money can be spent. And also, who that money can be allocated to. So again, let's think about the system that it's coming from. And the system that it's coming from does say that that prop 98, money is only to fund local education agencies, just for the most part largely districts, some charters and county offices of education. And even within that, there are some constraints within Prop 98 Money about how much money can be used to fund non LEA partners. So for example, community partners or intermediary organizations, nonprofit capacity building organizations like my organization, that there are some constraints with them. So what we have done is basically put in effect $2 billion dollars into the same system to say, let's work differently. And we're going to ask our county offices of education, to be the ones that help lead us in this transformation around doing things differently. So you get this thing around, like what are the drivers to actually change things? Or are we doing again, high quality fragmentation based on what we already know and what we're comfortable with. And this is a massive challenge. We don't have the insights nor the drivers nor the tipping point nor the fiscal incentives, let alone political incentives to enter into new ways of working with each other, even on an institutional basis. Now, at the same time, we have a boatload of money coming in on the behavioral health side, from the Department of Health Care Services through the children's youth Behavioral Health Initiative, which San Bernardino County is also playing a large role in really thinking about this cross section between community schools and the Children's youth Behavioral Health Initiative. Yet, at the same time, it's very, very challenging to have that conversation also be inclusive of managed care organizations that play a huge part in our health economy. As well as community based providers, and those community based providers who have been leaning in to our behavioral health and wellness work, particularly in communities that don't have a huge trust of public agencies. Those organizations are still not well represented nor even turned to as leading assets as part of that conversation. So when I think about this is a new way of doing school, this is a new way of thinking about young people. This is a new way about creating new synapses. And then I think about what we have invested in and how we are investing in it, and what our inquiry is, I wonder, is this really a new way? Or are we just kind of crossing our fingers and saying, Well, we have the logic, we have this technical set of understandings around what a new way might entail. But we're using the same vehicles and vessels and hoping for a different outcome. From a research standpoint, there's some baked in hypotheses of what's going to happen. But and you know, we'll see. All right, is anyone studying this? I'm not entirely sure.
So let me ask you a question on that. Because when, as you're talking, I'm feeling reform over transform. Because reform is really just getting better at what we're already doing. But his transformation is really doing something different.
Which is a much heavier lift. I think about you know, when When there's ideas, you know, and I haven't been in this space for a long time it's fairly new. But one of the things I don't like hear talked about is like really looking at, you know, your curriculum and changes there. Those are heavy lifts. And so when when you think about this, do you think, because it's, it's hard to make a change, if you have mental models that have been created over the years of doing things the same way, it doesn't just snap and shift to feel like, and this might happen, not only in in education, but government, and all kinds of other areas, that we drop things on two leaders in organizations and people within them and say, Alright, time to do different. But we really haven't built capacity, or really looked at our mental models. To think about how we shifted those to even be ready to consider different. I don't know, do you do you feel that something that's maybe lacking?
Oh, yes, it certainly is lacking, but but I don't mean, I don't think the lacking is because people are, are doing so intentionally or people aren't smart enough. Right. Like,
and I didn't mean that. I'm just saying no, I
also I, but but I think that there is a recognition that, you know, baked into some of these drivers there are like, well, that's the law. That's what the Ed Code says. That's what statute says. That's what it says in the budget. You know, there's so many different ways that it is that those mental models are built around the the systems that we have built over time. Right, and and even if we think about some of the challenges around collective bargaining, for example, right, we talk, there's been a lot of conversations across the country about the public good. And these items of public good and coming into collective bargaining? Well, what is what's the system that we're working with, in here, collective bargaining as a very important tool for both management and labor? But largely done outside of public view? And is that a place to arbitrate the public good? Who is part of those conversations? Who is speaking for whom? It's a powerful tool? For sure. But the question is, is this is this the system that we're relying on? So it is, you know, even if we think about what you're talking about, about the you know, the difference between reform and transform? If Community Schools was just about colocation and efficient service delivery of, of goods and services that our community based organizations provide, then let's have a conversation about MOU's and budgets and risk management. And making that easier for those things to get passed on consent calendars enforced? That's what we're talking about. Right? We're really talking about recognizing that young people need a lot of things in order to thrive and in order to flourish. And one organization, one public agency that is beholden to all of these other political things can't and should not be the only folks that are entrusted to make those decisions. So this, if we were talking about the efficiencies of service delivery, then let's have a conversation about that. When we've been talking in community schools, about really recognizing the importance that the relational infrastructure, the community connected ways of of providing services and connecting with community. And we want to use that expertise and that leadership to actually transform the way we do school. That's not just about how many folks can we get in under the 50% profit 98. In order to make sure that all of our Title One students are being counted because they fall under the or fall above the undue implicated pupil count, right? Like, our, our, the rubber band reflects the snap to the things we understand as important as as important and what we can and can't do. It's really, really quite profound and always tends towards reform very, very, I have not yet heard a conversation about, from our friends at school services that do a great job at helping us with understanding ed code and new new requirements. But it's not about mental models. And that's because they're not there. Their work is not to provide us with new mental models. It's helped us help us learn how to do this things that were required to do that we're not going to get audited for it. Yet, that seems to be the most compelling driver for some of this work. That's a bummer. Because we're not going to get to transformation, no matter how many different initiatives recall transformative ABC XYZ.
There's a lot there. And it's difficult. Because everything that you're discussing there, we have to create a space where people don't feel overwhelmed by that heaviness of that lift. Because I think what happens sometimes is, there is a lot there, and it's heavy. And that can make well just let's just get back to what our you know, because it seems like so much, you know, and so. And I'm hoping we get to a place where people can feel less anxious and less beholding to constraints that keep the change from happening. But let me get into another question. I'm loving this conversation. But I know you're not gonna want to stay on here with me for three or four hours. But I got just one or two more questions,
My son has a playdate. So you know, we've got you got time.
Okay. One of the things that I've shared and spoke on for many years. And and going back to like, 2015, I was talking a lot about VUCA. You know, and how do you start to understand that, you know, the, the environments that we work in now are changing, and we're moving from technical to adaptive challenges, which is what you were just speaking about their technical is easy, because it's like how many, you know, which kids need to be on which bus and which teachers need to be in which classroom? Those you know, it's kind of like getting back to like that separation, there's a binder for each of those things. When we start talking about what creativity looks like, or, or innovation or really, what what does transformation even look like? And how do you bring voices to the table that are not even often heard, but are difficult to search out and get to the table? And how do you start to think of those things differently. So and so when you think about this, in your article, continuous improvement in schools in the COVID-19 context, it seems that these VUCA environments are not going away anytime, especially in the face of today's constant acceleration, accelerated change forces. So in the midst of this VUCA, how do we help leaders to start to move into not only just continuous improvement processes, but like you talked about shared purpose and cultures of trust. And one of the things I think I talked to you a little bit about in Philadelphia is is a sense of belonging. Yeah,
I love that. You named that, David? Yeah. When we when we think about VUCA and recognizing sort of the military context in which it came from really looking at how do you make a plan? Right, it's sort of when people are like, oh, let's do a strategic plan for five years. Okay. I can't even tell you what, you know who the next superintendent is going to be. But we can certainly go ahead and try. But when we're thinking about sort of the volatility of the politics of the money of the labor markets, we think about the uncertainty that exists at the at the most micro level to the macro level. And we Think about both the ambiguity and the chaos of it all. That wasn't just a COVID thing, right? Like, that's kind of how, especially in California, we've been gradually divesting from public schools for decades now, like we have actually created the absolute conditions to make VUCA. Uncertainty, ambiguity, chaos, volatility, a part of how we do school. And often, oftentimes, when, when, when people I hear so some people say it now, but definitely a decade ago, people would say, oh, when you've seen one community school, you have seen one community school. And that was really a nod to recognizing that each community is different. There are unique assets and champions and priorities for each school community. Yet at the same time, that went a little bit too much like, well, 1000 Flowers bloom wildflowers bloom, and we'll just figure it out how we figured out I guarantee you that when the military is using VUCA, they're not like, well, we'll just see when we get there. Oh, well, you know, that Gen really likes to do it that way. Like it is still has to be a way to really understand what are the tools that we need? What are the what can we trust? And some of those things, when it goes goes back to this idea of the enabling conditions enabling conditions don't You don't test enabling conditions when everything's amazing? And awesome? Yeah, right. What we know about psychological safety, and the role of psychological safety and continuous improvement, didn't come from organizations where everybody was, like, totally thought the same and did the same exact things. And there was never a challenge, like, our biggest learnings came from emergency rooms, where fatalities were a part of their work in an emergency room, they came from oil rigs, where if you make a mistake on an oil rig, you are jeopardizing the endeavor, but also the lives on that oil rig and the huge, you know, talk about bottom line. So just because we are we have built into the volatility, and really the heartbreaking nature of what it requires educators and public education leaders to do, because this is a very, very hard set of circumstances to do this work in. It is absolutely when we need to really think about, why don't I trust? Who do I trust? Who doesn't trust me and why? Right, those enabling conditions are even more important. And what we know that, you know, the literature tells us about psychological safety is that it doesn't mean that everybody likes everybody. I don't need to like you, in order to be able to know that I can still raise my hand as somebody who's in an operating room and in it within an emergency context to say, that's not the right thing. Or you did you notice this data point right here. I don't have to like you. But I have to trust that that system is in place in order for us to work together. And that we do have a shared purpose that we do have data that we're going to review together not as a gotcha. Not as like, oh my god, I can't believe I said that to my boss. But there is some space that we can actually move towards improvement. So I don't know how we do education without this stuff. And that's really hard to legislate, it's really hard to measure. And when we're talking about leadership, if we don't have leaders that are committed to really questioning the way that they think about their vision, the way that they include other folks within their decision making processes, the way that they really bring other people in to help them better understand their blind spots. Then we aren't really we don't have a plan for VUCA we're just sort of going at it and and having a bit of necessary arrogance to be like, no, no, no, we got it. Let's just Let's just do it. That is not sustainable. That is not impactful. And we have seen iterations of community schools work in California either called Community Schools or not, that have had to weather these up and downs. And the sustainability of this work is at stake. And you see this. When I look at the initiatives that have developed decade over decade over decade, whether they again, they call them community schools or not call them collective impact that are a couple of Promise Neighborhood initiatives, the work of healthy, the oh my gosh, what healthy start work within the 70s and 80s. That's where they were really, really focused on those enabling conditions. And that has continued to seed this work and to feed their work. But if we're just trying to do you know, needs an asset assessment that told me to do this to get this partner and we're going to create these new positions to do all this other stuff, like, we're not getting on the same page. And it's not going to serve as well.
go ahead. I appreciate that. And let me just kind of reflect on a couple of things that you mentioned. Because when you talked about the, if you've seen one community school, you've seen one community school, it makes me go back to another military term. And I don't know if it's the best one. But it makes me think of in like, General Stanley McChrystal, and Team of Teams talks about commander's intent. And what that saying is that when we hit the ground, we all know that we're all going to have to go different directions, but we also understand where we're heading towards, and the goals that we're trying to achieve. And so it understands that I do need to adapt, because my road is going to be different than your road, because we all have different circumstances. But we also kind of know where we're going and what we're trying to do. And then the other thing that I really love is that for years, I've always appreciated like Amy Edmondson's work and I like to mix it with Daniel Coyle and the culture code and and I can't remember all three questions right now. But the one thing that one of his questions was it he Coyle always brings out that when people walk into a room, they're they're constantly asking themselves questions of like, you know, what is my future with these people. And, and when it when you're more aware of how you're bringing that safety into the environment, it as a leader, you want to know where people are at. Because if they're talking in the parking lot, you can't help with that. It's is bringing that a chance, like you said, into the room, where people can bring their true selves and be able to honestly say, Yeah, that's not working for us. And then being able to just say, well, we have a plan, I'm sorry, is not, but this is what we're doing. But then to be able to then adapt that in ways to those voices, that improve the work you're doing is not easy. Doesn't always often happen. But it it's something that we you know, in years ago, when I first started with LCAP, one of the things that we talked about, on our team, when I when I did that work previously, going back to like 2014 or 15, before we started sessions, we did some work around psychological safety. And and understanding that when you go back and do your work with your teams, there needs to be a level of this if you want to get to something deep. So I really appreciate that. So, couple last two questions for you. They'll they'll be easy ones. But um, but this one I'm really looking forward to is that if you were talking and I know you just did it, about a week ago, if you're going to be talking to a room of educational leaders about this work, and you shared so much today what would really be important right now.
I think that I mean, this is something that I, there are two things that I say across California and I I feel like I say them 10 times a day. The first is a community school is not dependent on a grant. A community school is not dependent on a grant. Community School is not dependent on the grant. A community school if this is about the way we do school is about the way you do school. So I would ask the question, how do you do school? With whom? Why? How do you know? What don't you know? A community school is not a grant. One. Two, a community school isn't about services for for kids. Community School is not about services for poor kids. This is not at all diminishing the very real aspects that come with kids, families, teachers, partners, classified staff that come with them into a school building that gets in the way of them being their best selves, and being successful at the learning that all of those folks are brought to that school building to do. Not at all, diminishing that at all. A community school strategy is about the students flourishing and thriving school communities. And so if we just think about one component of that as being integrated systems of support, and really thinking about integrating mental and behavioral health and wellness, great, but that is not synonymous with a community school strategy. That is synonymous with an integrated system of supports. If we aren't talking about how we're designing for belonging for young people, to feel like they're seen and valued and respected, from the moment they step on to campus, when their families walk into a front office, how they are greeted on the yard. We're not talking about that we're now talking about community schools. If we're only talking about family engagement within the context, context of chronic absence and teaching parents about the value of school, we are not doing community schools work. We are not really un examining some of the underlying assumptions that we make about families and their role. And how it's really hard for adults to connect to one another, regardless, right? Like, yes, I am an extrovert, and yet even still going to a party to talk to a room of strangers, and to get to know them, and to start to build some trusting relationships with them. That is not actually how most of us are built. But if we are not creating the systems and the incentives and the supports to do that, from teachers, to teachers, from teachers, to community partners, from principals, to families, from families to teachers, than we are not doing community schools work. If we aren't thinking about shared decision making and governance, not just as a communications thing, not just as a budget thing, not just as an LCAP thing, but a way to really understand who is part of our community. And how do we create those feedback mechanisms for not just the communication, but for really talking about shared accountability and shared responsibility doesn't mean everybody has everybody's meeting. But it does mean that there is a very clear, dedicated way that we are thinking about connecting all those voices, all of those perspectives, and that we are reporting back in ways to say exactly as you said, I'm sorry, you felt that way. Now what? How do we move forward? Here's what we heard, here are the priorities of our budget. This is the amount that we can spend. And here was our wish list. How are we continuing to re culture and re norm that decision making? That is a really overwhelming way? And are much harder to do than just thinking about these are programs and services for poor kids. But that's what we mean when we're talking about a community school strategy. And so if we're going to really put our not just our money where our mouth is, because we have done that, but figure out how the rest of the corpus comes along. In this road to supposed transformation. We have to be able to be to really say incredibly clearly, a community school is not a grant program. A grant program does not make a community school. And a community school is not about programs and services for poor kids. That's what I try to invite leaders to be part of that conversation because it's not really a decision am I going to do community schools or not? If your job as an education leader, as a superintendent, as a principal as a community partner, is the same as my job, which is what our young people need to thrive then you're doing community schools work. It's just a matter of how are we, how are we continuing to support ourselves and push ourselves within a community to start moving forward?
Thank you. And the one thing that I always in the show with is, what's next for the future of learning. But I don't think we need to ask that question now. I think we've answered it. I really appreciate the conversation with you today. And this is important, deep work. And having the chance to get your message out is why I really wanted you on the show. So I appreciate you coming on today. And sharing your thoughts and your thinking. Because there's so much here, I think that people can listen to over and over again and unpack so I want to thank you for being here today.
Thanks, David. It's a pleasure to be here. And I'm honestly a little like, Oh, thank you even invited and asked me to be on so thank you.
On behalf of San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and myself, we want to thank you again for tuning in for this episode of the Learning Leader Lab. And we look forward to you joining us again for future episodes as we engage leaders inside and outside of our county to explore leadership that is having real impact for the future.